Medical Computers

Medical Computers for Major Hospitals

When computers were first introduced into the medical setting, they were still something of a luxury. Today, computers are an invaluable tool for providing patients with safe, secure, and quick care. While there are many different types of computers, computers used in the medical setting should be medical computers.Tangent medical computers come in many variants, each designed to meet certain needs in the medical setting. 

Medical Computer
Medix KW 22 Medical Computer

All-In-One Computers

When it comes to versatility, Tangent’s line of all-in-one touchscreen medical computers are unbeaten. With VESA 75 standardized mounting, all-in-one touchscreen computers such as the Medix KW Series can be placed or mounted in any setting. The widescreen display of the Medix KW allows for more information to be available on screen at any given time, and the 4-wire resistive touchscreen ensures that you can access files with ease.

Tangent all-in-one touchscreen computers are Ul60601 certified, meeting rigorous medical safety standards. As a result, Tangent medical computers are antimicrobic, meaning that they prevent the growth of bacteria on their surfaces. The prevention of harmful pathogens like MRSA and Hepatitis from lingering on the computer screen allows doctors to focus more of their energy on their patients, and less on worrying about the medical computers aiding them.

Medical Computer
Medix E22B Medical Computer

Medical Cart Computers

When it comes to workstations on wheels and medical carts, medical cart computers offer the best mobility to power ratio. Like the all-in-one medical computer, medical cart computers from Tangent are UL60601 certified antimicrobic and sport responsive touch screens. However, models such as the Medix E22B medical computer feature hot-swappable batteries, and can run 24×7 without needing to wait for a charge. Simply swap out a dying battery for a fully charged one, and the Medix E33B is ready for the next eight hours.

Medical Tablet PC
Medix T13 Medical Tablet PC

Medical Tablet PCs

When you’re on the move through the hospital, Tangent medical tablet PCs ensure that you’ll be connected to all your patient’s information. Featuring a convenient carrying handle, the 

Medix T13 medical tablet is an incredibly portable tablet with a powerful 8th generation intel CPU. The Medix T13 comes equipped with an antimicrobial housing, hot-swap batteries, and a magnesium chassis that is 33% lighter than aluminum yet still delivers an impressively high strength-to-weight ratio. 

Tangent's Medical LCD Monitor
Tangent’s Medical LCD Monitor

Medical Monitors

When a room is fitted with an all-in-one PC but needs a secondary screen, medical monitors from Tangent play a critical role. The Touch Screen Medical LCD Monitor from Tangent provides a second full-touchscreen monitor to a medical computer, one that can be mounted on a point-of-care cart, desktop, or arm. The Touch Screen Medical LCD Monitor can fit either VESA 75 or VESA 100 mounts, allowing it to be placed in virtually any situation that it is needed. Just like the medical computer it is attached to, the Touch Screen Medical LCD Monitor from Tangent has an antimicrobial enclosure.

 

There is no one-size-fits-all medical computer that can complete every task, after all the operations of a medical cart are vastly different than that of the exam room. But with Tangent’s array of medical computers, you can be sure that all your hospital’s computing needs will be met. From all-in-one pcs to medical tablets, Tangent’s wide variety of available medical computers ensures that you have the right computer, at the right place, at the right time. 

antimicrobial computer

Antimicrobial Computers: Achieve Sanitation in Healthcare

While it is impossible to create a completely sterile hospital, mitigating the spread of germs is a must in any medical setting. The concentration of sick individuals in a hospital means that every surface is a potential breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The many surfaces of medical computers are no exception to this, and the need for doctors to go back and forth from patient to keyboard puts these surfaces at greater risk. That’s why all medical computers today are antimicrobial computers that halt the growth and spread of dangerous bacteria on their surfaces.

 

Antimicrobial computers are, simply put, computers that are treated to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on their surfaces. Manufacturers produce antimicrobial computers by coating the surfaces of the computer with an antimicrobial chemical that is harmful to microorganisms, but have no effect on humans. Some metals, such as copper and silver, exhibit natural antimicrobial properties and are used in certain areas for this property. However, when it comes to antimicrobial computers, coating their surfaces and screens with antimicrobial chemicals is the standard approach.

 

The International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC) has set out a series of guidelines known as IEC60601 for medical computers to abide by. In order for a medical computer to be sold in the United States, it must meet an altered version of the standards produced by the United States called UL60601. One of the key components of these guidelines is the requirement for computers used in the medical setting to be antimicrobial computers. There are many other requirements for an antimicrobial computer to be UL60601 certified, but the antimicrobial requirement is critical to driving down patient infection rates.

antimicrobial computers
Tangent’s Medix M24T Antimicrobial Computer

So where do you find UL60601 certified medical computers? At Tangent, our entire selection of medical computers not only meet all of the UL60601 guidelines, but also EIC60601  guidelines, and are IP certified water resistant. The M24T antimicrobial computer from Tangent meets both sets of guidelines, providing professional medical staff a safe, reliable desktop computer for the exam room. For on-the-go access or for medical carts, there is the Medix T-13 antimicrobial tablet from Tangent. The Medix T-13 features the same UL/EIC60601 certifications as the M24T in a small, portable tablet perfect for medical cart usage. 

 

Everyday, hospitals see a see a stream of patients flow in, and a seperate one flow out. A perfectly healthy person could enter a hospital, and leave with a disease carrying microorganism hitching a ride on them unknowingly. Halting the growth of these microorganisms is not only a matter of hospital safety, but a matter of public health. Antimicrobial computers from Tangent help reduce the likelihood of a sick patient spreading their illness to other patients by ensuring that when a doctor or other healthcare professional is helping a patient, they don’t have to worry about their computer becoming a breeding ground for germs. 

 

Medical Computers

Tangent Covers All Bases in PC Needs

The average company doesn’t typically replace their computers all at once in a mass hardware refresh. Over years of use, certain models are phased out for newer ones or replaced because of age. And as business processes change and newer software suites require specific system configurations, a wide assortment of computer systems tend to be introduced to the organization. A single type of PC or laptop doesn’t usually suit the needs for all workflows and users, especially in larger enterprises. With such a variety of hardware needs, the lives of the folks in an IT purchasing department are made incredibly easier when they have a single trusted supplier of computer solutions and services.

 

Medical PC
Medical Grade 24″ Computer

Tangent offers dozens of types of computers in a variety of sizes ranging from large 24” medical grade all-in-one PCs to powerful tablets to the most minuscule of rugged industrial mini PCs. They are designed to excel in durability, longevity, and performance in most any working environment. Because business doesn’t just happen in corporate offices, Tangent pours its attention into all types of potential work settings and use cases, whether it be a video editing system in a news van or a data entry computer in a clean room. Tangent’s medical all-in-one PCs are largely designed for use in the healthcare industry but are excellent for any organization that needs protection from environmental infection control and isolation precautions. Their line of business all-in-one PCs are perfect as clean, efficient workstations in places like call centers, home offices, internet cafes, libraries, and more. And if space is a concern, a mini PC is a good consideration.

Rugged Mini Computer
Rugged Mini O

A mini PC is perfect for small spaces like in vehicles, tractors, and airplanes, or for use as a timeclock or as an outdoor computer. All of the computers in Tangent’s product line are easy to sanitize and boast a long useful life due largely to a fanless operation and IP rated protection against contamination and water ingress into the system. The mini PCs have the added benefits of being shock and vibration proof and being able to withstand operating temperatures of up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. They are excellent for video monitoring systems, factory automation systems, or as network controllers. As different as the purposes for Tangent’s all-in-one and mini computer systems can be, they are both built to provide the best in performance, reliability, and flexibility. 

healthcare data security

The Importance of Security and Medical Grade Hardware

On May 14th, Simon Pope, a director at the Microsoft Security Response Center, wrote a blog post urging users of older Windows operating systems to install security patches on their computers and take steps to secure themselves from a known vulnerability that could be exploited and result in worm infections and/or cyber attacks. The remote code execution vulnerability was discovered in the Remote Desktop Services on versions older than Windows 8. This warning arises from the lessons of the 2017 “WannaCry” ransomware attack. Those attacks were highly destructive even though a Windows security patch for it had been available for months. WannaCry affected thousands of computers worldwide, bringing down hospital networks and causing the cancellation of over 19,000 medical appointments.

It seems incredible that a hospital’s IT staff would overlook such crucial updates, but it’s an unfortunate reality for many medical companies. Another problem is that many facilities don’t upgrade their hardware often enough to be able to run newer versions of Windows, and much of their computer inventory is not of a medical grade. Cost and budget constraints tend to be the reason for lack of security or hardware updates, but as seen with the WannaCry attack, the results can be more catastrophic to a hospital and its ability to service patients.

medical grade computers

Tangent offers thirteen different types of medical grade computers that can be customized to suit the needs of any medical facility. A multi-year analysis of cost and return on investment will reveal that having up-to-date technology and safety measures will end up saving more for the hospital. With Tangent’s medical grade fanless touchscreen computers, one can be confident that infection and contaminants will not be spread amongst patients from the hospital’s computer equipment. The enclosures are protected from water ingress so that they may be disinfected thoroughly. Many are equipped with hot-swappable batteries or UPS internal batteries for continuous use of the system even during power outages. The medical computers are also equipped with the latest version of Windows to help keep the operating systems and data as safe as possible. The list of available options is truly impressive and allows hospitals to find the right fit for their requirements and budget, while also ensuring that they are doing everything they can to prevent cyber attacks and downtime.

cardiac arrest medical monitoring

Every Minute Counts with Cardiac Arrest

When cardiac incidents occur in a hospital, every minute that passes can be a factor in whether the patient survives or not. According to Heart.org, in 2016, only about 25 percent of U.S. patients survived when their hearts stopped in a hospital. With how busy medical staff are and the amount of alerts going off all the time, it often happens that a crucial one goes unnoticed for some time. For many hospital systems, the answer to this is to employ Central Monitoring Units (CMU). A CMU consists of nurses and clinicians at a remote site that watch patient vital signs on a computer and call hospital staff if they notice potential emergency situations like the onset of ventricular tachycardia. The end goal is give front-line hospital staff notice of serious cardiac events an hour or more before they happen. This is a challenging objective since the process is heavily reliant on medical technicians to identify key signals from massive data streams on hundreds of patients. However, even the short amount of notice they are able to give has been life saving in many cases already.

Fast data analysis and response from a remote clinician is possible only with fast medical computers to aid their efforts. A medical grade computer like Tangent’s E24B offers the performance, safety, and uptime required for a crucial job of this nature. Its 24” monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 allows for many monitors and applications to be displayed clearly to the medical technician, and the projected capacitive touchscreen makes working between application screens quick and efficient. The medical computer has an impressive 32GB of available memory, solid state drives, and is powered by the latest in Intel Core technology. One can be assured that many applications will  run at once without freezing or crashing. Continuous operation is paramount for staff monitoring patient cardiac activity, and so the E24B computer is designed with 3x hot-swappable batteries in case of power outages or if the station needs to be moved.

Medical Computer CMU

Advances in artificial intelligence will be the next step in improving monitoring and identifying patients in danger, but the human component will likely always be necessary in that process. A trained technician is important for providing the expertise and experience to make a judgement call. AI may certainly attain a human level of aptitude for patient monitoring, but for now medical computers best shine as a reliable support and data gathering tool. With enough ingenuity and creative use of technology, hospitals will be able to push that 25% cardiac arrest survival rate up much higher.  

EHR and patient care ready

EHR and Patient Care Ready

Epic Systems is world-renowned for their electronic health records software, but their portfolio has expanded to do much more than just maintain records in the patient care space. They understandably have specific system requirements for successful use of all their powerful features. The recommended screen resolution on a system running Epic is 1920×1080 with at 24” widescreen flat panel screen. That is a bit of a jump from the 22” monitors people normally use. Epic has so much to display on the screen that smaller monitors will require scrolling to see the entire work window. They also recommend a sixth generation Intel processor and 8GB of memory. A strong processor and ample memory is necessary to run the application at full bore without any freezing or slowness. A computer running this software will often be in a clinical setting and needs to be of a high quality and safety standard. All these requirements added up together points to a need for a medical grade PC to adequately handle the job. Let’s explore why that is.

Epic Logo

Medical grade computers like Tangent’s Medix T24B are purpose built for medical environments running memory intensive applications that must have reliable and near-constant uptime. From the performance side, the T24B guarantees fast and consistent functionality with up to 32GB of memory and an Intel Core i7 processor. From a hardware perspective, three hot-swappable batteries allows for up to 10.5 hours of uninterrupted run time in case of a power outage. This medical grade computer matches Epic’s requirements perfectly with a 24” wide multi-touch screen and 1920×1080 resolution. Being a medical grade all-in-one panel PC makes it space efficient, sleek, and professional looking. Patient data is efficiently entered as they work with their care provider and they can see that quality equipment is used at the facility.

 

Medix T24B Medical Computer

A medical grade PC also needs to promote health and safety in a medical facility. After all, computers are touched all day long by many hands, and the last thing anyone needs is for germs and bacteria to propagate and spread there. Like the T24B, Tangent’s C24 medical grade panel PC has an antimicrobial additive baked into its housing to reduce the growth and spread of contagion. The enclosure is sealed with an IP65 rating so that it may be properly wiped down and sanitized. A third, and often forgotten, safety precaution is confirmed by the device’s medical 60601 certification. This indicates that the computer is protected from electrical frequency leakage, making it safe to be used in close proximity to a patient. Running an EHR software suite with a stellar reputation on a powerful medical grade computer with built-in uptime assurance is a sure-fire path to a successful practice and satisfied, safe patients.

coMING OF AGE

Coming of Age of a Medical Computer

Coming of Age of a Medical Computer

 

In the 1990s, the term “medical computer” didn’t mean much more than a PC in a doctor’s office, or computers set up specifically for order entry, medical database access, or patient surveys. The equipment itself wasn’t anything special or purpose built for the medical field. Nowadays, a medical grade computer is expected to provide clinical resources, constant uptime, and also protect patients and staff from the spread of infection. Mobile clinical carts use medical panel PCs for in-room patient care, staff use tablets to put in patient meal orders or pharmacy orders, and even the LCD monitors are of a certified medical grade.

 

Modern CDC guidelines require that medical computers be UL/IEC60601-1 certified after in-depth testing for safe use near patients, other medical equipment, and performance compliance. Antimicrobial coatings on medical computers have the capability to kill or inhibit the growth of microbes on their surface or surrounding environment. The antimicrobial agents are formulated for low toxicity, minimal environmental problems, and prolonged lifetime of the computer components the agent is applied to. Tangent’s medical computers are not only 60601 certified and antimicrobial, they are also IP rated to prevent ingress of water or contaminants. The Medix C24 medical computer has an IP65 front panel. It’s also loaded with I/O ports and mounting options so that it can be used for carts, arms, desktops, or anywhere it’s needed.

 

In addition to being suited to safety and sanitation needs, medical grade computers have to stay at the forefront of technological advances in order to serve ever-changing clinical requirements and advances. As soon as touchscreen technology became widely available, they started being integrated into medical devices and hospital workflows. Tangent’s M24T medical computer offers PCAP multi-touch, up to 32GB of memory, Intel Core processors, advanced graphics capabilities, and a built-in webcam. Why is a webcam important?  Telemedicine or “virtual visit” doctor appointments have become a popular alternative to in-person visits. Patients can conduct live video chats with a doctor 24-7 via web meetings. The M24T medical computer also has a UPS battery backup. If a doctor is meeting with a patient and the power goes out, the meeting can still proceed uninterrupted. Tangent’s computers are also validated to work well with popular EMR software packages like Cerner or Epic.

 

Medical computers have come a long way over the decades; they are safer, sturdier, more secure, and reliable than ever. Tangent’s industrial and medical PCs have far too many features to mention in one article, but they are all built to provide the most utility, versatility and value to its users.

 

Fanless Computer

No Dust Bunnies This Easter…

No Dust Bunnies This Easter…

 

Finding dust build up inside a fan-cooled computer is like finding traffic in LA. It’s always there no matter how much you try to avoid it. Thousands of hours of fan-driven air movement and electrostatic charges make the internals of a PC or laptop a prime dust magnet. From a functional perspective, collected dust, dirt, hair and debris sucked into the computer can cause overheating by insulating vital components and blocking vents. When intake vents get clogged up, the exhaust fans will pull air through every other hole in the case, eventually clogging them with dust and fuzz particles as well.

 

What does all this dust being circulated around mean for the world outside the computer? Anyone with allergies knows that it means an absolutely miserable day. In a work or hospital setting, the amount of lint and filth floating around from computer fans can be potentially harmful, especially to those experiencing compromised health situations. So how does one ensure better air quality and clean PC internals when considering computer systems for an office? An industrial or medical grade fanless computer from Tangent will absolutely hit that mark.

 

Most every computer that Tangent produces operates completely fanless and without any moving parts. Fanless cooling is achieved through conduction, or passive cooling, techniques along with processing components that give off less heat.  Modern CPUs can run with less power than before and at a cooler rate. Solid state hard drives have no moving parts and therefore are immensely cooler than standard disc hard drives. The LED backlit LCDs on the fanless computers also have low power consumption and heat output, and the cast aluminum or stainless steel chassis casings absorb any internal heat and dissipates it like a heat sink. Fanless computers save on power, reduce all computer noise, and do not circulate dust and contaminants.

Fanless Industrial Computer
Fanless F15 Industrial Computer

Tangent’s professional fanless computer lines, the medical grade T, C, and E series, or the industrial grade KW and S series are the culmination of decades of advances in technology to reduce power consumption, increase speed, maximize durability and reliability, and provide a safe, clean working environment for its users. So much effort has gone into packing Tangent’s fanless computers with tons of features and options while still ensuring that they won’t overheat or fail. Many consumer grade PCs and laptops are moving towards a fanless model, but unless high quality components and construction are employed, as with industrial grade computers, there’s no guarantee for performance or longevity.

 

medical grade computer

3 Essential Features of Medical Computers

3 Essential Features of Medical Computers

 

“Medical grade computer” isn’t a label you can slap on anything off the shelf. Understandably, there are stringent regulations around what can be considered a safe computer component for use around patients in healthcare environments or in highly sanitary conditions. Medical computers are designed to be installed in a variety of areas in a hospital or care center like medical stations and carts, wall mounted arms, or even patient lobbies, and they often have features like barcode scanners, internal batteries, or card readers to further provide desirable clinical utility. The following are three major requirements to be considered a medical computer.

EN60601-certified

UL/IEC60601-1 Certification

This certification is granted when a medical electrical device undergoes and successfully passes testing for safety and performance compliance with CDC guidelines for environmental infection control, electric shock prevention, and isolation precautions. It is a guarantee of reliability and assurance that the medical computer won’t cause harm to clinical staff or patients. Tangent’s line of medical computers have all been thoroughly tested and certified.

 

IP Rating, International Protection Marking

The IP rating of a mechanical casing and/or electrical enclosure classifies and rates the degree of protection it provides against intrusion by any number of external forces. The ratings list specific foreign objects and water pressure forces that the enclosure of the device is effective against. Most of Tangent’s medical computers are sealed and protected with an IP65 rating. This indicates that the medical computer is dust tight and ingress of any foreign particle will not occur. The IP65 rating also means that the device can safely be sprayed down with water jets from a nozzle. Thus, the medical computer can be sanitized with cleansers and water and will not harbor any contaminants or dust, which is crucial for clinical settings.

antimicrobial

Antimicrobial Protection

Tangent’s medical grade computers are manufactured with antimicrobial agents embedded in the enclosure. The antimicrobial agent in the medical computer’s plastic is necessary to address patient and medical staff safety by preventing surface contamination and the spread of harmful pathogens, germs, or mold spores. Infection control initiatives are some of the top priorities in hospitals, making antimicrobial treatment incredibly important for computer equipment that is touched by many people and could transmit bacteria or other organisms to health compromised patients.

 

serial ports blog

Serial Ports, A Dated Yet Necessary Feature

Serial Ports, An Included Legacy Component

With as much new technology that Tangent packs into their all-in-one medical computers, one does not expect to see any sort of legacy components included. However, if you look at the I/O ports on the back of the Tangent M24T medical computer, something surprising is present: three RS-232 DB9 ports. For those of us that are not polished up on our knowledge of every serial port that ever existed, the RS-232 is a standard computer serial port for communication that dates back about five decades, and was used for a wide array of purposes like connections to modems, printers, mice, data storage, circuit protection, connectors, optoelectronics, passive components, uninterrupted power supplies, and more. This is all fine and dandy, but the questions still stand. What are serial ports from the 60s doing on new computers? What does this have to do with medical standards? Why don’t they just solely use USB?

Well, simply put, medical devices have varying ways of providing data to computers. Most still have uncomplicated serial ports, while newer ones have HDMI, ethernet or USB ports, depending on the protocol being used for communication.  A true medical computer needs to be able to fit the requirements of each medical device it’s connected to, as well as the clinical workflows of the medical facility and that particular care center’s IT environment. And the old RS-232 interface is an attractive alternative to the more temperamental digital interfaces for many medical device manufacturers because it’s robust, consistent, and easy to use. The adage of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” applies heavily for the serial port standards in a great number of devices. Tangent’s dedication to providing convenience and value to medical care providers led to the inclusion of the trusted legacy ports. The M24T medical computer is able to connect to a kidney monitoring device, an ultrasound device, and a patient monitor using the serial ports, and still have 6 USB ports and an HDMI port free for other uses.

All the newer, fancy bells and whistles are bundled up into this incredible medical computer as well. It features a 24 inch PCAP touchscreen monitor, an Intel 6th generation Core i Series, fast memory up to 32GB, and high-performance NVMe storage. The M24T medical computer also has fanless cooling by way of heat pipes, it’s own internal speakers, and optional webcam and RFID. The medical computer has an uninterrupted power supply battery for up to 30 minutes of operation during a power loss event, and of course, is factory treated with an antimicrobial coating to ward off the spread of infection from bacteria or mold.

It’s easy to dismiss older technology as useless and disposable, but in the medical world, efficiency and consistency in the face of emergency situations often wins out over the new and questionable. Yes, strides are being made to upgrade older hospital systems to modern standards, but change in these sorts of environments can be slow. With so many devices still relying on legacy ports, it makes sense that medical computers still cater to their needs.